Initial Descent: October 7 – 13, 2018

vanhelgd
Vanhelgd

I’m seeing tons more people getting into the whole 31 days of horror extravaganza this year and want to remind everyone to not miss the Blood Red series from Chris where he goes all in for Hooptober. This is the month where horror and metal collide in an evil symphony and needless to say, I’ll drink to that. Speaking of metal, there’s plenty of it this week so let’s get to it…

Swedish death metallers Vanhelgd offer up their fifth installment of insanely good death metal on Deimos Sanktuarium and yes, it is better than Temple of Phobos. NY’s King Buffalo may tag themselves as heavy blues but after spending much time with their second full length Longing To Be the Mountain I would add ‘explosion’ to that tag – it’s an explosion of ideas; a psychedelic cousin and a blues brother meet up to grab drinks with a rocker friend and a metal head uncle. Great second effort here. Vermithrax make their brand of thrash pulse with the soul of classic heavy metal on Imperium Draconus and Solium Fatalis return with a crunchy, melodic blast of death and black metal on Genetically Engineered To Enslave – the production on this thing is unbelievable which is good news for eardrums all around the world.

Stacked week so far but there’s much more candy to enjoy below, go get them. Continue reading

Album Review: Krigsgrav – “Leave No Path to Follow”

Krigsgrav-Leave-No-Path-To-Follow

I could do a lot of poetic waxing here to set the mood for Leave No Path to Follow, the new album from Texas blackened doom merchants Krigsgrav, about how their mid-paced melancholic mix of metal was not only a chance to get some alliteration in this review, but also describes the thick atmosphere they bring to the table.  I could mention the sterling cover of “Brave” from Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day and how that really stands as a touchstone for what the band can do.  And I’ll probably talk about all that in greater detail in the main part of this review.

The clearest thing I can say about the album and band is this:  I never heard of them before, got the promo, took a listen, and immediately went and bought the rest of the band’s discography.  It’s called striking a nerve, and it struck all of mine.  So let’s do this.   Continue reading

Profile: Brian Tarter of Brass Owl

Brass Owl

On Brass Owl‘s self-titled EP, released in June, this power trio shifts gears from stoner metal to jam band to southern rock to blues and back again over the course of seven songs — no matter what they slip into it’s cohesive, catchy and damn memorable. Simply put, hearing traces of Gov’t Mule alongside COC is never a bad thing. Mastermind and guitarist/vocalist Brian Tarter played with Steve Vai back in the 90s and having been in the music game for over thirty years he, obviously, brings a ton of experience and knowledge to the table that, along with his bandmates, shines through every note of Brass Owl. We had the chance to sit down with Brian for more information on him and the band so head below for his answers and click through the links contained within to show them some support. Continue reading

Profile: Texan Trio of Titanic Doom – Ripis

Ripis
Ripis

Doom. The one genre where four letters can be as vast as all of the oceans on this planet and invoke emotions as varied as the colors around us. In the wrong hands it can fall rather flat but in the right hands — as is the case with Ripis — it can move mountains. Rolling sound waves, crushing riffs, tar thick atmosphere and lyrics that are the epitome of doom are just a few of the things you can expect on Shadow Dies In Morning Light, the band’s recently released second effort. Hues of Bell Witch color the pacing and shades of YOB highlight the songwriting but for over forty minutes Ripis OWNS this genre, period. This is doom metal in its purest form and it kicks all sorts of ass. After a chance email from the band and subsequent listen(s), we had to know more so we sat down with them armed with our set of Profile questions which you can find immediately below — and PANCHO. Be sure to click the links contained within and support this band in as many ways as you can afford! Continue reading

Profile: Old School Thrashers Degrave

Degrave
Degrave

Old school might be a tad misleading but it’s a term I’ll easily throw out for full effect when speaking of Missouri shredders Degrave and their fiery brand of thrash metal on the upcoming self-titled album Degrave. Remember the days of high top Reeboks and wickedly fast solos where it sounded like the two main concerns were how much speed one could muster and how efficient one could be while doing it? That’s the kind of old school I’m referring to. It’s a certain era of thrash that was glorious in its heyday and thanks to the current guard of bands reviving / refreshing this era and genre, it will live on indefinitely. Degrave offer up just enough nostalgia to turn many heads while being deadly serious about their craft and how it comes across to the listener — IDEAL thrash metal. Just ahead of Friday’s release date we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions to find out a little more about these speed demons and what makes them tick. Read on to see what they had to say and be sure to grab your copy later this week. Continue reading